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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blog Becomes I Now Have ONE Blog.

I had no idea what I was thinking.
After a year and a half of blogging, I've finally done it. I've named a blog after myself - This was no small journey to get to this point. It took me almost 40 blogs to arrive at just one.

When I started blogging in the beginning of 2009, I had no idea what I was doing. A friend of mine had suggested that I try setting up a blog on I didn't know any better and followed her advice. Xanga is like Facebook for bloggers. It's more about being a community of primarily teens and college kids and them writing stories for each other. Most of the comments on the blogs are, "Ick, Ewwww, Kewl" or some other one or two word answer. You're lucky if the comments are not profanity, which was a rather common occurrence.

Xanga is a network of blogs that were created by You can advertise a book or CD from Amazon on your blog, but there were no other ways to monetize your blog. At the time, I had little or no clue what it meant to monetize a blog.

You'll find other blog networks connected to Xanga that all carry themes: Dollarish - Money, I like Food - Duh, Man Couch - Manly thoughts about women. I can't remember all the names. But they had a blog network for fashion, gamers, religion and a few more.

I had a blog on Dollarish, the financial blog, for a while, until I realized that I was pretty much the only blogger on that network. I had a blog on Revelife, the so-called Christian blog, which was really a coliseum where Christians were beaten up by atheists. If you wanted to spend all day writing defensive comments and arguing, that was the place to be.

I was getting into all of these different blog networks because I felt like I had to start a new blog every time I had a different thought that didn't seem to fit the last blog I created.

Then I discovered (where this blog is hosted).

My spawning of new blogs with every new thought reached epic proportions. Titles and new graphics popped up weekly. Everything I was doing required a new, unique blog. I was trading stock options, so I had a trading blog. I was trying to build a website, so I had a blog about that. I had friends in the military, so I had a military blog. My faith is important to me, so I had a religious blog. I like bitch and moan every now and then, so I had a blog for just that. Pick a mood or a thought and I had a blog for it.

My forte was creating very appealing header graphics (using Microsoft Word) for my blogs. I learned a lot of techniques from my ex-wifek, who was a graphic designer. All of the blogs had their own colors and fonts. I was more concerned about the look than the content.

One of my favorites was a blog called, "Blog Writing Maniac." For the header graphics, I married a typewriter carriage from an antique typewriter onto a computer keyboard. From the typewriter roller was a billowing cloud of smoke. It looked fantastic. Another colorful blog was Mr. Build-A-Blog, all done in Lego colors. It was a blog about building a blog.

Then there was "Lemonade 5¢" - a blog about turning life's lemons into lemonade. I would label the positive people as lemonade makers and the losers as lemons. For the lemons, I found a way to turn their bodies or heads into a lemon. Like I said, the graphics were great. And the content wasn't bad, either. But there was no plan to monetize any of the blogs, which is why I got into the blogging in the first place - to make money.

I had created a monster. With close to 40 blogs and regularly writing to 28 of them, I found myself forced into cranking out nearly 6,000 words a day, seven days a week.

Besides being clueless about the financial side of blogging, I had no inkling of the meaning of keywords, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or marketing the blogs. I was creating massive amounts of content in some dark corner of the Internet and writing in such a way that no one would ever find me. Insanity.

It got so out of hand, I even created a blog that was a showcase of about 16 of the blogs, featuring RSS feeds from my favorite and most active blogs. Again, that was just a mess of text and pictures that had no purpose and would never make a dime.

By the summer of 2009, I was blogged out. Everything started to get dusty and eventually I walked away from the whole mess.

In January of 2010, my life was falling apart in Las Vegas and I started deleting everything I had done. In a way, I wish I had held onto some of the sites, just because the graphics were so fun.

What I've learned from that experience is that blogging is really about creating content that has some cohesiveness - fulfilling a niche in the marketplace. However, I've also learned that I have to be true to me. I'm a diverse person. I have many interests. Those interests are many of the same things that interest you - getting healthier, making more money, losing weight, toying with the stock market, spirituality, cooking, gardening, self help, social media, technology and topical ranting. I don't think you are a one-dimensional person, and neither am I. So, expect different, diverse dissertations coming from this blog.

Overall, my goal is to amuse, inform, educate or insult.

Plus, I've learned that personal branding - creating your own unique identity - is a key to success on the web. Readers want to get to know you. With layers of blogs in 20 different directions, it was hard to pin me down.

I've also cut down my Twitter accounts to just one. At my insane blogging zenith, I had 16 Twitter accounts, all different characters. I had a total of about 22,000 followers, but no one was really sure what they were following.

Now I have a direction - amuse, inform, educate or insult. It works. Hopefully, you will find something here that is worth checking out more than once or even subscribing to (RSS).

Besides all of the logical reasons for simplifying my life to just one blog and one Twitter account, today is a good day to switch to - it's my mother's birthday. My mother passed away in 1996, but she always said I was a good writer. I'm not fancy, but I love to tell a story.

Happy Birthday Mom. Look, it's me... just me.

Update, June 27, 2011 - I now have THREE blogs (actually there are a few more that are dormant). This blog has been doing fantastic since I first wrote this article. I went underground and did nothing for five months, living in a state of deep depression. This blog became my therapy. In 90 days, I accumulated over 60,000 page views. No one was more amazed than me.

I decided to revive another dormant blog, Las Vegas Tips. I'm piddling with it right now. But it will have tips and tricks to enhance your stay in Las Vegas.

The new blog is, The Life And Times of Roger Blazic. This blog is more of a journal or diary. I figure that some day I won't be here anymore and I want my daughter and friends to know my stories. I have millions of them and there are new ones cropping up every day.

Enjoy the two other blogs... they're all linked to to each other and to this blog, so if you go there and don't like it... you can come back here.

Life And Times Of Roger Blazic

Las Vegas Tips

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